Williams, Adrian - clinical director, consultant sleep and respiratory physician


Consultant profiles


Secretary tel: 020 7188 8937
Email: Adrian.Williams@gstt.nhs.uk

Area of expertise: sleep  

  • Biography

    Dr Adrian Williams graduated from University College Hospital, London and took up a lectureship at the Cardiothoracic Institute, in the Brompton Hospital. He worked for Professor Lynne Reid, investigating pulmonary changes associated with chronic liver disease. Her appointment at Harvard in 1975 took Dr Williams to Boston where his interest in sleep began with the investigation of S.I.D.S.  

    He took up a post as chest physician at UCLA in 1977, which allowed his interest in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) to extend into adulthood. In 1985 Dr Williams became a tenured professor of medicine at UCLA and co-director of UCLA's sleep laboratory, the third oldest in the US (after the Mayo Clinic and Stanford). 

    In 1989 Dr Williams took his exams to become an accredited polysomnographer and later member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. As such, he has mentored more than 20 trainees for the same examination.

    At St Thomas' Hospital he has developed a comprehensive sleep service (10,000 patients per year and over 1,200 polysomnographic sleep studies). He continues his interest in sleep disordered breathing and its treatment 6, the first UK, reports of REM Behaviour Disorder 7, the first reports of the genetics of Phase Delay Syndrome, and the genetics of snoring and R.L.S. in the St Thomas's Twin Cohort, unique explorations of the link between orexin and sleepiness 13,14 and the setting of medico-legal case law (sleepwalking as a defence for drink driving). 

    Dr Williams is a diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, a founding member of The British Sleep Foundation, the Sleep Medicine Section of the R.S.M. and the R.L.S. UK Group. 

  • Specialist interests

    • Sleep
    • Respiratory medicine
  • Awards

    • 1993 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award
    • 1989 Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London)
    • 1979-80-81 Teacher of the Year, West LA VA Medical Centre
    • 1968 Trotter Gold Medal in Surgery
    • 1966 Fellows Silver Medal in Medicine
  • Research interests

    Focused on sleep disturbances such as:

    • those in obesity (diaphragm function)
    • sleep apnoea (associated adverse outcomes such as hypertension, stroke, diabetic retinopathy)
    • movement disturbances (Parkinson's Disease, REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder; Restless Legs Syndrome)
    • narcolepsy
    • phase delay syndrome and genetic studies